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Lady_Leigh67

Popcorn Kernel and parent volunteers

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Hi there. I imagine that I may get a lot of varying opinions after you have read this.

 

Popcorn training is coming. We already have our training dates in mid-August. Last year was our Pack's first year in taking part in the popcorn sales, since the year before we started the Pack a week after popcorn was finished. Anyway, we did fairly well for being a small pack. Myself (CC, DL, and anything else you want to call me) and my Pack Sec/Treasurer, DL, (and anything else you want to call her) have done pretty much everything, all the "big" events, including popcorn last year. We did have a Kernel last year, but she was unable to carry out the duties because of work-related stuff. Fair enough.

 

We have been trying to recruit a parent or two to take this event on, as well as get someone to sign-up and follow-through with other events. No luck.

 

We are going to be hard-nosed this year. We are approaching burn out status pretty quickly and don't want that to happen. Our thoughts after talking last night is that by next month, we will tell the parents in the Pack that if no one steps up, we won't be taking part in the Popcorn Fundraiser as a Pack. And that due to this, we will be asking for more in Pack Dues (possibly $150.00 per scout) to cover advancements and expenses and on some activities we may have to ask for additional funds in addition to the pack dues.

 

Thoughts and ideas please!

 

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I think it shows how important Popcorn money is to the pack.

When they start selling their dues go down.

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Well, we did not really have problems with selling last year. We are just tired of the rest of the pack's parents not helping out. It is the same 2 families that have done everything for 2 years now: Popcorn (1 year as I said earlier), Join Nights, PWD, B&G, etc. Enoug is enough, you know. We doubled in size last Fall too. We have made it clear that no one will be left alone and on their own, but we need people to start helping out.

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That's what I really mean. Basically we need a pocorn kernal to sell popcorn and if we dont' get one dues will be 150.00. List who does what already so they see the same people can't do this too.

They still ahve to pay for any acivities above and beyond as that is just for badges of rank and awards.

I'd tell our pack the same thing.

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Burnout is the number one cause of scouts leaving the BSA. Do what you have to do to maintain program quality. We told all parents that Den leaders would not assist in any other activity. Some did because they enjoyed doing it, but we gave them the out if they needed it.

 

Also, most of the new adult leaders come from these voluntiers. So the more you can pull in, the better chances of them joining the staff.

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Your problem is explained in your opening post. Others see how overworked and burned out you and the other person are, and so they have no interest in volunteering. You are your own worst recruitment poster.

 

You problem is not that you need a popcorn chair, that is just a symptom of what your actual problem is. As the CC you need to learn how to select, recruit, and delegate effectively or your chances of recruiting for ANY adult position is minimal.

 

The BSA has a selection and recruitment plan that you should strongly consider embracing. http://www.scouting.org/boyscouts/trainingmodules/selecting%20quality%20leaders.aspx

 

(This message has been edited by Bob White)

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Bob White,

 

Thanks for the link.

 

We do approach the Pack enthusiastically. Parents do compliment us on the job we do with the Pack. We just don't want to continue being the ones to "do it all." We have recruited and people eagerly sign on to help, but the follow-through is lacking.

 

We have begged the UC and DE to help us out. We have gotten more help from folks at Roundtable and neighboring Packs. We have never seen our UC, except at Roundtable during Recharter time. We have actually been told that since we are a smaller Pack, that we are not a priority.

 

After recruiting folks, people just don't want to stick with it.(This message has been edited by Lady_Leigh67)

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I don't know how it works in your council, but in ours, if you sign up for popcorn in June you get 5% more commmission. I've gone ahead and signed up our pack, and if we don't end up selling popcorn, we aren't out anything. Since there isn't any work required until October, if you're lucky you'll recruit some new families in the fall, and can talk one of them into handling the corn. At least I'm hoping to be able to do that.

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As stated in other posts, the problem isnt just Popcorn its no involvement. In the past I have tried having a parents night, remember to have refreshments and make it a fun event. Put on a mini training session where you describe each position, BSA standards as far as one person one position and so on. This might help. Good luck.

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Den Zero: Oh, I wish we had that here. Popcorn Training is in mid-August, kick-off is the end of August. Orders, show and sell, etc. is all done by mid-October!

 

Our Join Night (council wide) is not until mid-September.

 

scouter.claude: I like that idea! Isn't the real motto for scout parents..."Feed them and they will come!" :-)

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What I'm getting at is that pack meetings get going again in September, which is when we pass out the forms (if the DE gets them to us in time). Or we can cancel the popcorn sale at that time. The boys have about 3 weeks to take orders, then the work begins, collecting the forms and consolidating the order. The work begins again in Nov. when the popcorn needs to be distributed and money collected. If you succeed in getting a popcorn kernel in Oct., there is a load of work off of the cubmaster's back. Over the last 5 years, we got a popcorn kernel once, the CM ran it 3 times, and we cancelled it once. You might be able to beat our average.

 

It can be a lot more work upfront if you do show and sell, but we don't want to commit to that if we might cancel at the last minute.

 

 

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"Our Join Night (council wide) is not until mid-September."

 

Nothing says you have to wait until the Council-wide registration. Hold your own Round-Up in late Aug / Early Sept whenever your schools get back in session.

 

You can do something school neutral, and hold a raingutter race in a local park. Use foam core as the boat and use straws and printer paper for the mast and sails. Boys and siblings can decorate and race as they please. Or, do a Kite Fly with home made kites.

 

Advertise the heck out of it in your local paper, in the local church bulletins, fliers tacked up in grocery stores and other stores, sent home thru school if possible, etc.

 

For your Popcorn dilemma - Do you have any Girl Scout families in your Pack? If you do, talk to them about taking on the job of Popcorn Kernel. A Girl Scout leader, or parent, who is familiar with the

GSUSA Cookie Program will have no problem with popcorn!

 

 

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Our pack is a top selling popcorn unit in our council. We are a show n sell unit. Every year we offer a popcorn kickoff / ice cream social the week before the sale begins to re-hype the boys. For boys who don't sell, we ask the parents to buy a small carmel tin to reach the 75% sales quota for the earning bonus.

 

This year I am co popcorn chair for our troop and council asked us to bring it to our Troop. They had a bad experience in the past and it took a lot of convincing. We asked the boys to pre order what they think they may sell, based on their sales from last year and bumped up a bit, so we could place the troop order.....they pre-ordered more than my pack sold last year!!! We are very excited. We are also going to do an ice cream social for them right before the sale begins.

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Pack468_Troop659

 

Since you do your sales as strickly show and sell, do you have leftovers that need to be returned, or do you normally sell it all? Do you feel that giving the scouts the opportunity to pick their items for sales really encourages them to participate more than if you give them a round figure?

 

I really like the idea of the ice cream social at the kick-off! Hey, feed them and they will come, right?!

 

 

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Last year we had a little meeting at end of August to hand out pocporn. Only 7 or 8 cubs w/ their families showed up. this year I was gping to make it an evetn. We are doing a Rocket Derby and having a popcorn "blast-off". After psales begin. We had good sales last yer but we're hopin to make it really big this year.

MAybe this will be a bigger draw and good start to our new pack year (plus it still counts as summertime pack award).

 

I think doing the show-n -sells and having a parent from each den responsible for individual orders may help. Even if you put all your efforts into just show-n-sells and require each family to sell that is better than not selling at all.

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